Scottish estates attract buyer interest from around the globe!

Many International businessmen, with a passion for beautiful houses, country sports and the great outdoors have an estate in Scotland at the top of their Christmas wish lists, according to property firm Savills.

Scottish estates attract buyer interest from around the globe!

Many International businessmen, with a passion for beautiful houses, country sports and the great outdoors have an estate in Scotland at the top of their Christmas wish lists, according to property firm Savills.

The total value of Scottish estates traded this year is in excess of £54 million, considerably more than the £46 million spent on purchases during the whole of 2012. There have been varying price tags for the estates traded, with one selling for almost £20 million, two between £8 million and £10 million, and the remainder for £6 million or less.

In reality such an aspiration will only be within the reach of a privileged few who have funds available, not only to buy the property of their dreams, but the means to maintain and run it.

   

According to Evelyn Channing of Savills, in the past 12 months the majority of viewers have been international businessmen running large organisations, carrying with them all the stress and time pressures that involves.

 

Almost without exception those contemplating purchasing a highland estate have been attracted by the range of sport on offer. This is in contrast to the typical buyer of 10 years ago, who bought an estate to enjoy the fruits of their labour full time in retirement.

‘The market for sporting estates is now dominated by high net worth individuals seeking good quality sport in beautiful surroundings, away from the incessant demands of business life. All of this can be found from deep within the grouse butt. Quick and easy access from and back to the business world, and privacy is high on the list of requirements,’ said Channing.

However, the choice is limited, with only a handful of sporting estates coming to the market each year. But Channing pointed out that this rarefied sector has not been subjected to the late economic turmoil, although the effects of the poor residential market for prime country houses has undoubtedly had a knock on effect on residential estate assets. 

 

Purchasers continue to be exceedingly selective and, reflecting the current style of buyer, estates will often remain on the market for an extended period of time to allow potential  buyers time to reschedule their diaries to create the necessary window to view.

She added that the best will always attract interest, irrespective of economic conditions or political considerations, because owning a fine Scottish sporting estate is often a lifetime ambition rather than a business decision.

The impending referendum on independence in September next year does not appear to have made a significant difference to the market. ‘While we have spoken to a handful of buyers who are putting their search on hold until the outcome is known, the majority still view Scotland as a relatively safe haven for their money,’ said Channing.

Savills has been prominent in the sporting estate sector throughout 2013, and Charles Dudgeon, head of Rural Agency for Savills UK, said that interest in the 10,000 acre estate of Cluny in Inverness-shire, the 7,000 acre Gledfield in Sutherland and 16,500 acre Suisgill on the Helmsdale has been global. Two thirds of viewers originated from Europe this year, particularly from Scandinavia where buyers seem to have a deep seated love of Scotland and all that it has to offer.

‘Acquiring a Scottish country estate is still a popular trophy buy and with the recent significant property price growth in London, the Scottish Highlands have never looked better value for money,’ said Dudgeon.

It is possible to buy 10,000 acres in the Highlands, with a Grade A listed nine  bedroom castle and 10 ancillary dwellings for the same price as a three bedroom flat in Knightsbridge, according to Beth Hocking, associate director, residential management, Savills Edinburgh.

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